MIDDLETON ST GEORGE LOCAL HISTORY GROUP
The group was started by a few friends who met informally to organise a public meeting, which took place in March 2003. It was well attended and a number of people volunteered to form a committee. Among the reasons for starting the group was the desire to bring people in the village together in a social setting and to use the Community Centre, which at that time had very nearly been closed down. We also wanted to try to give people more knowledge of the village and the surrounding area, and we hoped that people would contribute their local memories or do some documentary research into the local history. Since then we have produced a CDROM which contains copies of all the surviving parish magazines from St Lawrence’s Church, plus photos and copies of programmes and other information about the village which were kindly loaned to us. A copy of the CD was given to the village school, Hurworth School, the St Lawrence’s Church, Darlington Local Studies Library and Durham County Record Office. We have copies now available to buy for £5.00.
We also have for sale a limited number of copies of a book about Middleton St George written by one of our members, Alan Pallister. It is called ‘Middleton St George: windows on the evolution of a Tees Valley Parish’ and costs £10.00.
A few years ago some members of our group volunteered to do some work in the grounds of Sockburn Hall and Church, which were in a very bad state. They cleared vegetation in the gardens, revealing some of the original layout, and in the churchyard, uncovering the ancient gravestones. They also did some basic repair work. The hall has recently been sold and is now fully restored.
Some of our members recently researched into the background of the men from the village who died in the First World War, and whose names appear on the village war memorial. They have presented talks about this work, mounted an exhibition as part of the village centenary commemorations to mark the end of the war, and are currently exploring the possibility of publishing this research to make it more widely available.
If you would like to join us and possibly do some research of your own, or just come along to our meetings, we would be very pleased to welcome you.